John McCarthy

Educator and life long learner. Exploring the many ways to advocate for student voice in their learning career. Passions: my family, writing, teaching, and gaming. Blog: www.openingpaths.org Blog: www.deadwoodwriters.org

Most commented posts

  1. Rebutting Misconceptions about Differentiated Instruction — 7 comments
  2. Inspiring the Writer in everyone — 7 comments
  3. Learning Preferences Cards — 5 comments
  4. Student Learning Preferences Quick Surveys — 4 comments
  5. Education is like Yoga III: Starting School Right — 3 comments

Author's posts

Rebutting Misconceptions about Differentiated Instruction

How do I meet the needs of my students when their skill levels are across the board? Some variation of this question consistently comes up when I coach educators on curriculum implementation such as Project Based Learning or writing strategies. Educators want and need an answer that guides them to taking the first steps towards …

Continue reading

PLN Resources for a New Year

As we launch ourselves into a new year, which is really the middle of the current school year, here are some resources that helps to grow a PLN. The work of teaching is on-going, and a big part of it is deepening our own learning. Here are some places that can open doors to a …

Continue reading

4 unit Guidelines toward Meaningful Audience Purpose

A good Project-Based Learning unit experience provides students with an opportunity to make an impact on a community, person, or organization. It’s real–goes beyond the world known as “school.” While this idea has resonance for many educators it’s often felt as an abstract concept. How do teachers consistently bring about an authentic purpose that will …

Continue reading

Mentoring makes Everyone Better

Throughout my career I’ve been blessed with people who’ve taken me under their wing to guide, advise, and develop. The experiences are eye-opening and humbling. I’m constantly reminded that, to paraphrase Socrates, there is much that I don’t know that I don’t know. Throughout my career, I take opportunities to pay forward the gifts my …

Continue reading

RAFTs – Engaging to Differentiating Writer’s Voice

In a previous series of posts I wrote about RAFTs, a powerful strategy that engages students into writing, a means to coach students to improve writing, and an approach that when differentiated helps students at varying skills to success at a respectful pace. By popular demand, what follows are all 3 articles in one blog …

Continue reading

Game ON – How kids want to learn

Game ON – How kids want to learn by John McCarthy, Ed.S. This past spring my two teenagers got me involved in playing Clash of Clans. It’s a game played on smart phones and tablets. It’s free, which is a major criteria for my cost-conscious kids, followed by if it captures their attention. Clash of …

Continue reading

Education is Like Yoga IV: To Error is to Grow

This post was a long time coming. The quote that starts this post was packed with so much meaning for me regarding the needs of students. I needed time to reflect on what path to take with it. That, and I was in the midst of a 6 part series on Differentiated Instruction for Edutopia …

Continue reading

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – Give the Gift of Time

My kids inspired me to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. They kept sharing  videos of people participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Their interest and respect for how people were contributing to a good cause led me to ask myself, “How am I demonstrating support for worthy causes, other than saying it’s …

Continue reading

40+ E-Portfolio Resources

40+ ePortfolio Resources e-Portfolios empower students to be reflective about their learning. Sifting through their work, they find artifacts that best represents their deep understanding academically, personally, and professionally. There are different uses for e-Portfolios: Demonstrate learning targets from a unit. Reflectively monitor their academic growth in a course or regarding skill-sets. Archive quality experiences …

Continue reading

Education is like Yoga III: Starting School Right

My yoga practice is erratic because my work takes me on the road to many locations. So when I make the most of the classes that I can attend. Yoga is sacred time for me. It’s time for myself to let go of all concerns, needs, and demands for one hour. It’s not too much …

Continue reading